We are each links in the Great Evolutionary Chain of Being, somewhere between just being a physical body and being a God-realized Soul. This Chain of Being is the Universal Hierarchy, whereby beings exist within greater Beings, and so on, while all beings exist in the One Being of God. Also to clarify is that the whole universal Chain of Being or Hierarchy of Being includes Both physical bodies and soul. Remember that one of the esoteric truths is that all physical bodies (even including planets and suns) have distinct souls – each soul being the consciousness (or mind) energy-body permeating its physical body manifestation.
Some teachings speak of the spirit of things, rather than soul, but in the simplest sense, the spirit of someone or something is the same as the soul. If there is a distinction between soul and spirit, the meaning of spirit is the consciousness essence of a being, while the soul is the unique mental and emotional content of that being. But for simplicity sake, it is easiest to just make a distinction between the physical-body and soul-body of any being – in which the meaning of soul includes all consciousness, mental and emotional attributes. Some beings will, of course, have a very simple soul with elementary content, while other souls, like many human souls, will have a more complex content.
Now within the whole Universal Hierarchy of Being is our own Planetary Hierarchy of human souls, ranging from simple beginning souls to more complexly advanced souls. This range from beginning souls to more advanced souls is structured in the Hierarchy as lower to higher levels, and each soul is spiritually advancing to higher levels over time and by individual and group effort. Each of the levels are linked together, interrelated and interdependent. In other words, each level (and thus each soul on that level) is an interdependent link between the level below it and the level above it.
So, within the Hierarchy of Souls each of us are links – between those in the level below and those in the level above, since each level of the Hierarchy is a link between the level below and the level above. Each of us are at some level of the Hierarchy, and each of us are a link in it all. If we can understand this, then we will understand our responsibility; because those below us and also those above us depend on us as a necessary link. Thus, no matter at what level one is, each striving soul is a significant link between those below and those above.
The Hierarchy is based on levels and links, and everyone is interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent. Each soul is a middle-link between those higher and those lower. But each soul is also a higher-link, in relation to those lower. And each soul is also a lower-link, in relation to those higher. So each soul is three links – a lower, a higher, and a middle in between.
As a lower-link we receive from and are guided by those above, if we are willing to be helped and sufficiently receptive to this. As a higher-link we radiate out our love and light, to help open the hearts and enlighten the minds of those who have not reached our own level of love and light. In other words, as a higher link we are bringing the lower levels up in the Hierarchy of Love and Light and Spiritual Will. This is accomplished by the magnetic resonance of our own spiritual striving and the outpouring radiance of our love and light. As a middle-link, we act as bridges between higher and lower levels. We receive from above and give to those below. This all happens under the cosmic law of vibration and magnetism.
In our function as a higher link, we help those below us in the Hierarchy by our striving will, embracing love, and expanding consciousness. We help to heal them of their 'pain of separation' and enlighten them in the realization of the Unity-of-all-selves as One Being. We share with them our own love and light, and we help them aspire higher by our own aspirations and self-work. We share our love and light with them, and we bring them up to our own level by the very magnetism of our being and our work. Then by doing all of this, and by what we give to the lower, we fulfill our role as a middle-link between those lower and higher, in relation to where we are.
But then also realize that the level above, those links above us, also have this same spiritual work in relation to us. They too are in spiritual service – with responsibility as a middle-link and as a higher-link to the levels below. Therefore, their spiritual work to the levels below cannot be completed without our own responsible work. As well, by our own striving and progression upward (or deeper, depending on how we see this) we create an important magnetic upward force which helps those above rise up further. Thus, even those above us are dependent on our own sense of responsibility and spiritual striving.
So, as a lower link in relation to higher souls, we also hold an importance. Remember too that one aspect of the higher soul's work is to guide, enlighten and raise up the lower souls; therefore, their work of service is only fulfilled by the progress and advancement of those beneath them in the Hierarchy. Thus, each lower link serves a higher link by actually listening to their guidance and receiving their love and by progressing further towards them.
In our function as middle link, our responsibility is to help carry upward the whole group of souls on our own level. These souls on our own level are especially close to us in spiritual kinship, because we all share a similar level of consciousness and love-expansion. We might not all share the very same interests and we might not all agree on everything, but we all share a similar degree of consciousness resonance. As a possible metaphor, these are those who are in the same room with us, the same classroom or the the same room of mind. Therefore, our own progress, or no-progress, has a significant effect on everyone in this same room or in this same level of consciousness-being. Each of us can help positively spark the others. Each of us has the potential for being a leader in our own group or level. We can be a leader, or at least help in furthering the progress, or else we can just be a follower, waiting to be pulled up by the others. It all depends on the degree of responsibility that we realize and actualize.
Therefore, important in all of this is our interrelatedness and interdependency with all other souls, both higher and lower souls, and also with those souls on our own level. This relatedness means that we each affect one another, and this dependency means that the spiritual progress of each soul depends on the progress of many others. Thus, whatever one does, even whatever one thinks, has an effect on both the links above and the links below, as well as affecting those in the same level of Hierarchy. This then implies our responsibility in what we do and think. For we can either come in attunement with higher consciousness or fall away, and we can either help raise consciousness or succumb to the forces which lower consciousness.
Overall this means that we each need to realize our responsibility – in relation to all the others and to the whole structure of the Hierarchy. We have responsibility in relation to the souls below, to the souls above, and to the souls of our own level who are our horizontal link relations. Our responsibility to all of these souls is to help them spiritually progress further, which is to ascend further up the Hierarchy towards infinitely expanded Unity-of-Being. Or this can also be understood as a deepening through the Hierarchy towards the very central Essence-of-Being.
What is spiritual progress/advancement? First, it is an expansion of consciousness and heart, towards the Infinite. Second, it is an increasing willingness and power to serve everyone in life. Thirdly, it is to increase our experience of relatedness, with love and empathy.
Each soul and each group is a link in the spiritual chain of Hierarchy that connects Heaven to earth, God to manifestation, and Higher Souls to the rest of humanity. Within the great Hierarchy, each soul is helped and guided by a higher Soul above it, who can be called its Teacher or Guide, or its Oversoul. Each soul receives from the higher level, then shares and gives to the lower. So matter where one is or what level one is, there are those above and those below, and the Higher gives to the lower, as the lower receives from the Higher. Then in turn, the lower will be able to give to the level below it, so that on whatever level one is, one is both a receiver from above and a giver to below.
This is how the Hierarchy works, and how it is the medium for Divine transmission and manifestation. The same principle applies to soul groups within the Hierarchy. Remember that each individual soul is also part of a soul group, or 'Group-soul', which can also be understood as the embodiment of an Oversoul or of a Master. These are esoteric truths requiring intuitive reflection.
The fundamental principle at work in the Hierarchy of souls, which is the law of receptivity and transmission, creates a Linked Chain of inter-relationship, so that each soul, and each group, is a link in this chain of Light-Love transmission. This is how God works, through this inter-related, inter-linked, hierarchical chain of souls; for all of these links contribute to the light made available to the world and coming into manifestation as goodness and beauty. Some souls are advanced and expansive, while other souls more recently beginning and thus less expansive. Somewhere relatively between the Great and small, between the very advanced and the beginner, are we, perhaps.
So now, let us understand this more personally. For this is not just about something called a soul; it is about us. It is about you and me, and each person. Each of us are in this great chain of souls, for we are these souls.
Higher links are sharing down what they received from Above. So we need to receive, then share as well what we receive from them. But what we do and who we are, at our own level, is crucial in this whole chain of links, this linked chain of divine expression. Each of us can receive from those who have more wisdom and gain guidance from them. These sources of wisdom could be living teachers, or spiritual groups, or spiritual traditions, or even Masters in the Hierarchy.
Yet, however and from whomever we receive wisdom and guidance along the path, the very fact of our receiving gives us a personal responsibility for transmitting or sharing this with others. In other words, we have an important responsibility to pass on what we have learned, to share what we know, and to help others discover the Love-Wisdom, or what could be called spiritual teachings.
Now in calling this Wisdom, let us not get too presumptive about what exactly this is, as if all wisdom could be set down in one book of truth. Instead, let us simply and generally think of wisdom as any truths which are based in love, related to purpose, and have some practical use. Whatever one learns that is useful in the spiritual path is wisdom. Whatever expansions one makes in one's being or in one's love is what can be shared and passed down. Whatever powers-for-good one develops can be shared with others. Essentially, we share who we are, the quality of our being and the spiritual qualities we have.
The essential principle here is the need for self responsibility. Each of us are responsible, within this great Chain Link, for sharing and transmission. We are each important, just as each link in a chain is important. For if we do not fulfill our responsibility, then those below us in the Chain will not get all of the spiritual nourishment that they could receive if we were responsible.
As a link, our responsibility is two-fold: to receive and give. Receptivity is not just passivity, though. One cannot just wander through each day being oblivious to questions of spiritual purpose or to spiritual intuitions. One cannot receive in a completely un-conscious state. Our consciousness has to be awake, our mind awake and our heart open. So this receptivity has to be conscious and active. We call this 'active receptivity', because one needs to actively do it. It's like one has to actively open the jar of honey, turn it and let it pour out; one cannot just sit there passively expecting the honey to just manifest in one's mouth. Our intuitional mind and our heart of love needs to be openly receptive, while our intention and our mind needs to focus in this receptivity.
The giving part of our responsibility has to be intentional, conscious, and active as well. And what shall we give? What do we have to share? First of all, we can give our love. This is experienced as a feeling, a feeling of love and a feeling of giving. Two of the main qualities in this are inclusiveness and compassion. It is like opening our arms and radiating our love to everyone all around us. It is like being a beacon of light, or a light house of love. For we are shining out our love; we are pouring forth our love.
Love and Light are very related. We share the light of our consciousness, the light of our knowing, the light of our being. For our soul is a being of light. And love is also a light of our being, the radiant light of love. When love and light combine and merge into one radiance, this is the radiance of conscious love, lighted love.
Next, alongside love and light, we can share forth any spiritual intuition or wisdom we have. This is like sharing our understanding, and we share this within rays of light. In addition, we can share our spiritual will, which is our will-to-good. This is like our life force combined with intention towards the Good. In summary, we can share our highest and best qualities of being, our most profound ideas and visions, and our inspired self-will working for the Good.
In summary, we need to consciously receive from above us, then share this with those who have not received it as yet, but who might now receive from us. We could be the link, as it were, between the higher love-wisdom and those not yet capable of intuitively realizing it. In other worlds, those in a level below us may not be able to receive the intuitive knowing that we receive, yet maybe they can receive it from us, as we filter it down or step it down, so to speak. The esoteric principle is that each level translates a higher abstract wisdom into a more concrete or tangible understanding.
In all of this, we hold the aim of elevating the links below us; just as those above us are working to elevate us. For this is also one of the great purposes of the whole chain of links -- to elevate one another, in consciousness and in love. Along with this aim of elevation is the aim of increasing value.
The greater spiritual Purpose and Aim of all life is to increase the spiritual value of each participant and of all manifestation. Increase the value, increase the quality, increase the light and the goodness. This is the process of spiritualization. Also remember, if I increase my own value, spiritually, then more value is shared with others.
Right relationship with our higher link requires receptivity, attunement, and cooperation. Receptivity is first and, as already said, this is not just passivity but rather an intentional receptivity. Second is attunement, which is to attune our whole being to this higher frequency, this higher level of consciousness and purpose. And this attunement needs to become consistent, so that we are consistently tuned in to the higher. Next, cooperation is necessary. We need to cooperate with the link above, our higher link. We need to cooperate with this higher purpose and work, and thereby become a helpful link for that higher purpose to be fulfilled below us. For as we cooperate with a higher purpose and work, we become workers for that work.
So we have responsibility in relation to both the links higher to us and the links lower to us. In addition though, we have responsibility to share with and cooperate with those at our own level. It's not like everyone else is either above or below us in the golden chain. There are many at our own level, as well. These are our horizontal links. So we need to share with these brothers and sisters as well, and of course build cooperation and common work. Thus, we all need to find others who understand the greater purpose and necessary work in life, who we can feel as brothers and sisters sharing the same fundamental spiritual understandings, then work cooperatively together in unity, with the power of group synergy, to receive higher light and transmit this light to others in humanity. Therefore, group cooperation and group work become a very important link, a very potent link.
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Now, besides needing to be a link between the higher and lower, it is also possible to climb the ladder, to climb the links, which is to raise ourselves up in this great chain of links. In other words, we can become the next higher link, then the next, and so on. In the ascent up the links, though, we do not lose our responsibility to serve the world. We are not, in this ascension, abandoning the world and humanity.
Rather, we are becoming a larger power for the good, and thus a larger power to help solve the needs of this world. We are becoming a more encompassing wisdom - with greater ability to see what is needed - because of our wider view and understanding. We are becoming a larger wisdom. And thirdly, we are becoming a larger love, a bigger love, a more encompassing and enfolding love, with even more care about the whole world than ever before. Our love is becoming greater, stronger and more expansive. In effect, we are climbing up the Hierarchy of Love and Wisdom.
One important principle in this climb is higher identification. This means to identify with one's higher link, which might be a teacher or a guide, or it might also be understood as one's own higher self. Whoever this higher link is, is the one to identify with. Identify with whoever is recognized as higher. Even if one does not really know who is higher, it is still possible to identify with a higher understanding of love and wisdom, or to identify with a higher understanding of oneself. Find the next link to a higher consciousness, greater love, and finer perfection of being.
We could, even, practice a visualization meditation of imagining a teacher/guide with the highest wisdom and the most beautiful character. Imagine this person, this possible person. Then, once there is some understanding of this possible person, begin to identify with this, seeing oneself as this person. This is one way. Or perhaps one is fortunate to meet a very fine person with wonderful, admired qualities. Then make use of this opportunity by identifying with this person, which simply means to unfold those fine qualities in oneself. Think of yourself as just a step away from that admired person, just one link away; then jump up that link to their level of being.
Any of these higher identifications are important, because in order to climb up the ladder of Potential one needs to re-identify with something/someone higher, rather than remain stuck in one's present self-identification, or even worse, to identify with what is below oneself or less than oneself. Aim to the highest, attune to the highest, and finally identify with the highest. This is the ladder of ascending identity. Understand that each link above us is like a door to who we can be in our own self -- a door or step to our next possible level of being, a next level in our unfolding potential.
Yet in this climb, we are not letting go of the need to help others and all of the world. We are not abandoning the path of service, the path to help manifest the highest potentials of love, wisdom, goodness and beauty. For our consciousness can always be attuned to this highest purpose and also focused on ways of manifesting it.
Our work to help others and the whole world will depend on how well we are attuned with the highest. It will depend on how well we are receiving and cooperating with the highest. It will depend on our ability to stay connected and aligned with the higher links above and with the whole great Chain up to God. For to the degree that we are connected and attuned with the higher, is the degree of power we will have to make positive effects in the world.
Note that our higher link, be it a teacher or guide, or perhaps a connection we have with God, or even with a recognized spiritual potential in our self, is a great source of strength for us, as well as a source of wisdom; so this can become our source of spiritual abundance that we can link to, or connect to, in order to help the others. Any link above us is a link to the Divine Source Itself, the Universal Sun, or who we call God. So by being connected and attuned with a link above, we become connected with All that is above, the golden chain of linked souls, all the way up to the Absolute Source. Thus, if we hope to heal others or help in any positive transformations, we can channel down spiritual energies from the Universal Source, by connecting with a link above us. Then ideally, we can keep this higher link alive in our self and continuous.
Souls gradually advance up the levels, which has been called the Ladder of ascent. Each advancement upward to the next level is a kind of initiation, and these do not happen swiftly. In other words, no one ascends up many levels in just one lifetime; the process is much more gradual because there is a lot of necessary transformation involved with any of these soul initiations, including much transformational sacrifice. Sacrifice is, in fact, one of the main requirements, in order to ascend the levels, because one's present kind of consciousness has to sacrifice itself to be absorbed into the next higher level.
The higher one goes up the levels, the more integrated a soul's understanding and vision has to be. As one approaches the Whole and Complete Wisdom, and as one becomes more aligned with the complete Spiritual Will, one has to understand more than just one aspect of Wisdom and Purpose. The Path upward is an ever-expanding inclusiveness. (Beyond our planetary hierarchy are even greater and more encompassing levels, from Solar to Galactic, and finally to the Universal Itself)
We might intuitively realize that our own soul-consciousness is within a Greater-Wider consciousness, and this is within an even Greater-Wider Consciousness, and so on until there is nothing but God-Consciousness. These are each possible levels of our own being, quantum levels as it were, levels of who we really are (but don't know it yet), levels of who we could be in actual realization. And at each level, there is already one awake, one who is already there, consciously. This is the esoteric ladder of Being, which is a continuum throughout existence.
Every great soul gives birth to a number of souls 'underneath' it, and each of these give birth to more underneath it. This composes the hierarchical pyramid of Being, as the inverted tree widens its plurality of branches - which have ultimately come from the One Absolute Point on High, the Creative Point Itself, the Essence of all. What also comes of this are collective souls, that is, souls in a common group, born of the same higher soul and under the guidance of that higher soul. These are called Ashrams in one teaching, whereby the group is under the guidance of a Master. Yet this Master is also the deeper Soul within those souls. A Master is the deeper Being behind one's present realization of being.
So the ladder of spiritual ascent is a series of leaps into the next higher level of Being; while reversely, the spiritual descent is the development and guidance of souls underneath, as an act of serving divine creation and the diversification of divine manifestation. Thus, at any level there is both an ascending work and a descending work. The ascending work is the gradual leap of realization - in becoming, as it were, the higher Soul above, though this higher Soul was always who one really is. This higher realization of self is really a further discovery (or unveiling) of oneself. The descending work is service, development, and manifestation; and the higher the soul, the wider is the context for this service.
Now, at each level and for each soul there are degrees of freedom, for freedom is one of the fundamental aspects of existence/creation. So the levels above do not fully determine the levels below, because of this freedom, though there is enough influence from above such that what is below will inherently reflect, to some extent, what is above. Thus, there is a continuum of influence from higher to lower, but not a strict determinism. This freedom entails the possibility of both positive and negative consequences. On the positive, it allows for spontaneous and surprising diversity in the creative process, allowing the very mystery of natural divinity to unfold without predetermined rigidity. On the negative, however, this freedom allows for an uncontrolled chaos and the influences of lower levels to preoccupy the minds at any given level. Yet in spite of these negative aspects, the higher Intelligence eventually influences the lower to re-orient itself to a harmony with higher purposes; and so there is a general process of harmony to unity and the manifestation of higher purposes in creation.
There is one more principle to briefly explain in this subject of being a link, which is more esoteric. We have been discussing how each is a link in the descent of love and light, as it is often called. But each link in the hierarchical chain can also give an energy up to the higher, helping the higher levels. Esoteric science teaches that Light comes down from levels above, which is the Light of consciousness, the Light of awakening; and so we can be part of that purposeful descent by being a conscious link in it. (We can also understand this as an unfoldment of Light from within). Lower levels of soul need this Light, and so does the all of humanity, for this Light is the nourishment for spiritual realization and expansion.
Yet the lower needs to also give to the higher, and what it gives is life energy. Life energy combined with higher emotional energies are needed in the higher levels. So we need to share this energy upward. We give some of this energy upward with our aspiration, or with feelings of devotion towards a higher source, or with feelings of gratitude, or also with any sincere worship towards God. This could be a giving of our love and our gratefulness to the Divine, which could be to God but also could be towards masters, teachers, or saints who we feel are significant and helpful in our lives. Any of these higher feelings transform baser lower emotions and send energies upward. This gives a needed refined quality of energy to the higher links.
Self-sacrifice, when it is deep and with feeling, is another way of giving as well. In effect, alchemically, we are transforming the life energies that we acquire from nature, transforming this into higher emotional energies, which then nourish higher levels. Thus, we can also give to the higher, in reciprocation for what we receive. Esoterically, this is called completing the Circle.
link-to Light into humanity